SEASON OF THE SWAN by Evan Maxwell


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 A few days in a small town turn around a sorrowful violinist's life, in another by-the-numbers tearjerker from Maxwell (All the Winters that Have Been, 1995, etc.). Manhattanite Kate Saarinan is on the verge of signing a million-dollar contract with a slick music-company executive who wants to market her, glitzy-style, as a mysterious ``Black Swan.'' But Kate has to interrupt negotiations to keep a promise. She has agreed to spend a week introducing the children of the tiny town of Langley, Washington (not far from where she grew up), to music. Kate, an orphan, hasn't been back home in over a decade, largely because, as a teenager, she became pregnant by a sleazy minister and is still haunted by the child she gave up. Arriving in town, she happens almost immediately upon Bran Corry, who's trying to save an injured swan; the next day, no sooner than she's rescued Bran from a near-accident, she realizes he's also the town violin-maker and a kindred soul. From then on, it's only a matter of time before the two are issuing passionate declarations, enjoying overwrought sex, and suffering through a dizzying succession of coincidences. Earlier, Kate had caught a glimpse of a lonely-looking teenage girl with whom she felt a strange bond; the girl, Alyssa, not only turns out to be the divorced Bran's adopted daughter and a talented Celtic fiddler, but, yes, Kate's own lost child. Kate visits her minister seducer, who proves to be not such a bad sort after all; he's on his deathbed and expires just hours after their conversation. Meanwhile, back in New York, complications arise with Kate's recording contract, resulting in a predictable last-minute choice between her agent's promises and Bran's love. Even die-hard romantics may balk at so contrived and vaguely creepy a plot, or at Kate's being allowed to find love only by jeopardizing her promising musical career.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-017529-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997